Expatica news

Spain could widen anti-terrorist pact

26 July 2004

MADRID – Spain should adapt its anti-terrorism pact to broaden the fight against al-Qaeda, the Interior Minister said Monday.

José Antonio Alonso told a conference in Madrid Spain needed to “think seriously” about changing its existing anti-terrorist pact, although he stressed they could not neglect the challenge of defeating the Basque separatist terrorist group ETA.

Speaking at an anti-terrorist  conference at the University of Complutense en San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Alonso said: “With respect to the new international Islamic terrorist threat, we need to carry on with the same basic ideas which we have of an all-party consensus against terrorism in which we do no give-in to the blackmail of these organisations.”

The minister said the existing Anti-Terrorist Pact was a fundamental instrument in the fight against ETA but he said the country should consider widening this accord to combat international terrorism.

Alonso said ETA was an organisation in decline, which has faced a series of important setbacks in recent years, but still has the ability to violate the rights of Spaniards through violence.

He claimed Spain had already taken a series of important measures to fight ETA and al-Qaeda, like the setting up of the National Anti-Terrorist Coordination Centre.

Alonso claimed that in Europe, Spain led the move to improve coordination between states, particularly those members of the EU who take part in Interpol, the international police coordination service.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news